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NIH Public Access Policy

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The following resources provide additional guidance and assistance on how to submit your papers.

Research Informationist

Bethany Myers's picture
Bethany Myers
12-077 Center for Health Sciences

How to Cite

1. Include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) at the end of citations.

For papers published more than 3 months before an application, proposal, and report are submitted:
List the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) at the end of the full journal citation for the paper in NIH applications, proposals, and reports.  A PMCID is the only way to demonstrate compliance for these papers.  

For papers in press, or published within 3 months of when an application, proposal, or report is submitted:

  • When using Submission Method A or B, indicate “PMC Journal - In Process” or the PMCID at the end of the full citation.
  • When using Submission Method C or D, provide a valid NIH Manuscript Submission System reference number (NIHMSID) or PMCID at the end of the full citation. (Note: NIH awardees are responsible for ensuring that all steps of the NIHMS submission process are complete within three months of publication.)

2. Place the Literature Citations in the appropriate location.

The appropriate locations for literature citations vary depending on the application type.  See the Guide Notice NOT-OD-08-119 for details.


PIs and PDs are required to use the My Bibliography feature in My NCBI to develop their publications lists.  Researchers will no longer manually enter citations in eRA Commons and will use PubMed and PubMed Central records to quickly import publication information to My Bibliography. Researchers can also manually enter citation information in My Bibliography for records that do not appear in PubMed and for conference presentations, patents, etc. References saved in My Bibliography will automatically appear in users’ eRA Commons accounts.


For more information on using MyNCBI, see the "Managing Compliance with MyNCBI" tab of this guide.